Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Amazing Neck Saver

Bear with me now - am practising my best sales pitch.........

Ahem. It is common knowledge that nothing lulls a
child to sleep like a nagging mother a moving vehicle.
And nothing makes a long road trip go more smoothly
than snoring children in back, while wild-eyed parents
sigh with relief as they switch off the 42nd round of
The Wheels On The Bus. Ah yes, sweet slumber. But
wait, when you glance in your rear-view mirror at the
sleeping beauties, does this horrific sight* meet your eyes?

Does your heart flip-flop when you imagine the
strain on your child's neck muscles with each pothole?

Despair no more, well-meaning parents!
With this amazing oversize Olivia Newton John/
John McEnroe headband Neck Saver

your child can savor sweet dreams and still keep
her/his head safely on her/his shoulders!

Why pay exorbitant store prices for something that
looks like an oversize Olivia Newton John/John McEnroe
headband you could make it at home, when you can -
er.. make it at home?! Customize it to fit your oddly-
shaped car seat and own bizarre color preferences!

Ready to try it?

The finished dimensions of mine: 45" x 4" but it's best
to measure around the head-rest portion of your car seat
and give about 8" extra for overlap (i.e. 4" on each end).
I used terry cloth for both sides, four pieces of 1" velcro
about 3.5" long and two layers of batting along
the entire length of the strip.

Step 1
Cut two strips of terry cloth 46" x 5" each.
Cut two strips of batting to the same dimensions or a little bigger.

Step 2
Arrange the layers as follows:
  • 2 layers of batting (one layer of my superthin batting was not sufficiently puffy)
  • 2 layers of terry cloth (if using fabric that has right/wrong sides, place the right sides facing each other and wrong sides facing out) on top of the batting.

Step 3
With 1/2" seam allowance, sew all around the perimeter of the strip, leaving a section of about 8" along one of the straight edges unsewn. You don't have to curve the ends like I did but this way I didn't have to fiddle with corners.

Step 4
Turn right side out through the unsewn opening.

Step 5
Top stitch all around the perimeter, including the opening.

Step 6
Sew velcro strips about an inch apart as shown in the picture. Remember to sew them on opposite sides of the strip, as well as on opposite ends! Also I found it more effective to attach one pair of velcro strips horizontally and the other vertically - it just allowed for better adjustment and more secure fastening when in use.

Step 7
Wait impatiently for next road trip to try out.

Notes and disclaimers:
  1. I've used this on our road trips and found that it works for different kinds of car seats that have head-rest thingies on the side that create the hollow pocket for the child's head to nestle behind the neck saver thingy. I would strongly not recommend using this if it means strapping your child's head flat against a backrest that has no walls.
  2. If you are concerned about suffocation, try a mesh fabric but don't bother with stretchy fabrics because they don't support a lolling head well.
  3. Ultimately, use at your own risk - ikatbag or its author will not be held liable for injuries due to poor sewing skills or incorrect use on child. That said, I found that this strip is narrow enough to support Emily's forehead but not gag her. Whenever we use it, we also ensure her nose and mouth are unobstructed and reposition it as needed during the journey.
  4. Oh, and of course you need an adult other than the driver to administer Neck Saving and closely and regularly monitor its effectiveness throughout - the driver should never get out of the driver's seat when the vehicle is moving, or stare in the rear-view mirror every 2 seconds. Obviously.

*Re-enactment. No necks were harmed
in the making of this advert.


  1. L,
    This is hilarious! Couldn't stop laughing!
    I think Emily looked like she was going to laugh as well....
    (the one who her strapped , not fallen over of course....)

    x Rachael

  2. I meant "with her strapped".....
    could you please edit my comments if they don't make sense....

  3. holy cow, i am laughing my head off!!!!

  4. If your child was in her car seat properly with the seat belt through the belt poisoner (the red clip near her shoulder) you wouldn't have this issue. She would be held back against the seat with the seat belt.


Thank you for talking to me! If you have a question, I might reply to it here in the comments or in an email.